Prohibited exports

Goods that cannot be sent out of New Zealand are prohibited from export for a variety of reasons. These range from concerns for endangered species, animal welfare and the survival of marine mammals, to a determination to rid the world of anti-personnel mines, chemical weapons and ozone-depleting chemicals. Other important items are on the prohibited list to help protect New Zealand’s trade, cultural riches, and agricultural economy.

The following information will present a general overview of prohibited and restricted items, give some specific examples, and provide links to further information.

Use the category filter to find the specific area of prohibited exports that interests you.​

This description was last updated on: Thursday, 12 May 2011 .

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Purpose of prohibition:

​Primary products, especially those produced by the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries, constitute a statistically significant and financially critical sector of the New Zealand economy. Agricultural and horticultural products in particular need to maintain high levels of quality to continue to be successful and competitive in international markets. New Zealand Customs has an important role in ensuring that our primary products are exported according to regulations which are designed to maintain marketability and quality control.

Exporters of animal products, such as fish, honey or deer velvet, must be registered with the Ministry for Primary Industries. For further information see www.foodsafety.govt.nz/

Meat

Exporters of meat must be registered with both:

 

Legislation:Meat Board Act 2004

Authority: Ministry for Primary Industries

Last updated: Monday, 18 June 2012

Purpose of prohibition:

​For reasons of animal welfare there are controls on the export of:

  • Live animals (unless exempted).
  • Cattle, deer, goats and sheep being exported for slaughter.

For further information on these export controls, contact the Ministry for Primary Industries on www.biosecurity.govt.nz/regs/exports/animals/search.

Please refer to Customs Fact Sheet 4

Legislation:Customs Export Prohibition (Livestock for Slaughter) 2010; Animal Welfare Act 1999

Authority: Ministry for Primary Industries

 

Last updated: Monday, 18 June 2012

Purpose of prohibition:

New Zealand is a signatory to a number of international protocols and conventions which are aimed at conserving animals.​

For the purposes of conservation there are controls on the export of the Antarctic toothfish and Patagonian toothfish from New Zealand.

Legislation:

​Their export is prohibited under Customs Export Prohibition (Toothfish) Order 2009 unless the exporter has a valid catch document.

Authority: Ministry for Primary Industries

Last updated: Monday, 18 June 2012

Purpose of prohibition:

​For the purposes of conserving animal species there are controls on the export of birds – other than domestic birds – and other wildlife from New Zealand.

Legislation:

​Their export is prohibited under the Wildlife Act 1953 unless the exporter has a permit to export from the Department of Conservation.

Authority: Department of Conservation

Last updated: Thursday, 12 May 2011

Purpose of prohibition:

​New Zealand is signatory to a number of international protocols and conventions, aimed at protecting the environment. This includes controlling the export from New Zealand of chemical weapons and chemicals that may be used in the manufacture of chemical weapons.

For further information see www.mfat.govt.nz, or contact the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on exportcontrols@mfat.govt.nz  or go to chemicals that require approval to import and export.

Legislation:

​Approval is required from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, under the Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1996, to export chemical weapons and these chemicals. 

Authority: New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Last updated: Thursday, 20 March 2014

Purpose of prohibition:

​One of the purposes of the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004 is to prohibit unacceptable practices such as human cloning for reproductive purposes and commercial surrogacy.

To achieve this, the Act provides that Customs may detain cloned or hybrid human embryos and their containers, and transfer them to the Ministry of Health.

Banning the export of cloned or hybrid human embryos helps to prevent the growth of unacceptable human cloning for reproductive purposes. 

For further information see Customs Fact Sheet 4 and Fact Sheet 5.

Legislation:

Authority: Ministry of Health

Last updated: Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Purpose of prohibition:

The export of controlled drugs is prohibited under the Misuse of Drugs Act, unless you have a licence to export from the Ministry of Health, or are covered by the exemption for private persons.

Taking controlled drugs personally out of New Zealand.

If you are departing New Zealand and are carrying controlled drugs, such as methadone, on your person or in your accompanying luggage, you may be able to export it provided that you:

  • Declare the controlled drugs to Customs.
  • Prove to Customs that the drug:
    • is required for treating your medical condition
    • has been lawfully supplied to you in New Zealand – a letter from your doctor or a valid label on the container with your name and the quantity and strength of the drugs would be sufficient
    • have not more than one month's supply of a controlled drug with you. If you have more than one month's supply a license to export from the Ministry of Health will be required.

For further information contact the Ministry of Health.

Legislation:Misuse of Drugs Act 1975

Authority: Ministry of Health

Last updated: Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Purpose of prohibition:

Primary products, especially those produced by the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries, constitute a statistically significant and financially critical sector of the New Zealand economy. Agricultural and horticultural products in particular need to maintain high levels of quality to continue to be successful and competitive in international markets. New Zealand Customs has an important role in ensuring that our primary products are exported according to regulations which are designed to ensure marketability and quality control.

Exports to the Dominican Republic, EU, Spain and USA 

Only the New Zealand Dairy Board Ltd or an approved exporter may export to:

  • Japan – all prepared edible fats.
  • The Dominican Republic – all milk powder.
  • The EU – butter, cheddar cheese, and cheese for processing to be imported into the EU under New Zealand’s current access quota.
  • The USA – all cheddar, low fat, NSPF, and American-type cheeses.

For further information see www.mpi.govt.nz

Registration of Exporters

All exporters of dairy products must be registered with the Ministry for Primary Industries.

For further information see www.foodsafety.govt.nz

Legislation:Dairy Industry Restructuring Act; Animal Products Act 1999

Authority: Ministry for Primary Industries

Last updated: Monday, 18 June 2012

Purpose of prohibition:

New Zealand is signatory to a number of international protocols and conventions aimed at protecting the environment. This includes controlling the export of hazardous chemicals and pesticides from New Zealand that are covered by the Rotterdam Convention, such as, 2.4.5-T, Crocidolite and Lindane.

Approval from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is required under the Imports and Exports (Restrictions) Prohibition Order (No. 2) 2004 to export these chemicals and pesticides.

Legislation:

Imports and Exports (Restrictions) Prohibition Order (No. 2) 2004

Authority: Environmental Protection Authority

Last updated: Friday, 01 July 2011

Purpose of prohibition:

New Zealand is signatory to a number of international protocols and conventions aimed at protecting the environment. This includes controlling the export of hazardous wastes covered by the Basel Convention: for example, used automotive batteries, (this includes e-waste and old electrical equipment such as computers, printers and TVs).

Legislation:

​Approval is required from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to export hazardous waste under Imports and Exports (Restrictions) Prohibition Order (No. 2) 2004

Authority: Environmental Protection Authority

Last updated: Friday, 01 July 2011

Purpose of prohibition:

​Primary products, especially those produced by the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries, constitute a statistically significant and financially critical sector of the New Zealand economy. Agricultural and horticultural products in particular need to maintain high levels of quality to continue to be successful and competitive in international markets. New Zealand Customs has an important role in ensuring that our primary products are exported according to regulations which are designed to ensure marketability and quality control.
 
Horticultural products

Exporters of apricots, avocados, blackcurrants, boysenberries, cherries (sweet), chestnuts, kiwifruit to Australia, nectarines, peaches, persimmons, plums, squash, tamarillos, and truffles must have approval to export from the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority.

For further information see www.hea.co.nz
 

Kiwifruit

Exporters of kiwifruit to all destinations other than Australia must have approval to export from Kiwifruit New Zealand. Exporters of kiwifruit to Australia require approval to export from the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority.

For further information contact Kiwifruit New Zealand: +64 7 572 3685.

Legislation:New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority Act 1987

Authority: New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority

Last updated: Friday, 13 May 2011

Purpose of prohibition:

​For the purposes of conserving plant species there are controls on the export of indigenous timber from New Zealand.

The export controls cover the following indigenous timber:

  • Logs
  • Rough sawn and dressed timber including mouldings, panelling, furniture blanks*, joinery blanks*, and similar products
  • Woodchips
  • Stumps and roots, salvaged stumps and roots, tree fern trunks or tree fern fibre.

*Furniture blanks, joinery blanks, etc, are lengths of timber cut to a specified size and shape from which a finished article is made. Until such time as the blanks are processed into furniture or other articles it is sawn indigenous timber and requires approval to export.

Legislation:

​Their export is prohibited under the Forests Act 1949 unless the exporter has a permit to export from the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Authority: Ministry for Primary Industries

Last updated: Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Purpose of prohibition:

​For the purposes of conserving mussel species there are controls on the export of live green-lipped mussels with a shell size of less than 50mm in length (includes life stage known as “spat”).

Legislation:

​Their export is prohibited under the Customs Export Prohibition Order 2014 unless the exporter has a consent to export from the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Authority: Ministry for Primary Industries

Last updated: Friday, 10 October 2014

Purpose of prohibition:

​New Zealand is signatory to a number of international protocols and conventions aimed at protecting the environment. This includes controlling the export of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) from New Zealand.

Legislation:

​Approval from the Ministry for the Environment is required under the Imports and Exports (Living Modified Organisms) Prohibition Order 2005 to export LMOs.

Authority: Ministry for the Environment

Last updated: Friday, 15 April 2011

Purpose of prohibition:

For the purposes of conserving animal species there are controls on the export from New Zealand of marine mammals such as seals, whales, dolphins, porpoises, and parts of marine mammals.

Legislation:

​Their export is prohibited under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978, unless the exporter has a permit to export from the Department of Conservation.

Authority: Department of Conservation

Last updated: Friday, 13 May 2011

Purpose of prohibition:

New Zealand is signatory to a number of international protocols and conventions aimed at protecting the environment. This includes controlling the export of CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, methyl bromide, HCFCs and HBFCs from New Zealand.

Legislation:

​Approval from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is required under the Ozone Layer Protection Act 1996 to export these goods. 

Authority: Environmental Protection Authority

Last updated: Friday, 01 July 2011

Purpose of prohibition:

​New Zealand is signatory to a number of international protocols and conventions aimed at protecting the environment. This includes controlling the export of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) , for example, Aldrin, DDT, Dieldrin, Endrin, PCBs that are covered by the Stockholm Convention.

Legislation:

Approval is required from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to export POPs covered by the Stockholm Convention.
Imports and Exports (Restrictions) Prohibition Order (No. 2) 2004

Authority: Environmental Protection Authority

Last updated: Friday, 01 July 2011

Purpose of prohibition:

Conservation measure:

​Approval is required to export pounamu (New Zealand greenstone).

However, this prohibition does not apply to:

  • Articles made from pounamu – for example, jewellery, pendants or sculpture containing pounamu.
  • Consignments that are being exported by a single exporter, and in which the total weight of pounamu does not exceed 5 kilograms.

The view of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Mawhera Incorporation needs to be sought. The legislation for pounamu is Customs Export Prohibition Order 2014, and requires the approval of the Minister of Customs.

For further information contact the New Zealand Customs Service on 0800 428 786 (0800 4 CUSTOMS), and see the following Customs fact sheets:

Legislation:

Authority: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Last updated: Monday, 15 February 2016

Purpose of prohibition:

​Some objects of significant importance to the country’s culture and sense of identity cannot afford to be lost and need to be protected.

Approval from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage is required under the Protected Objects Act 1975 to export protected New Zealand objects – previously known as antiquities – that have significant importance in terms of the country’s culture and sense of identity. Objects include:

  • Māori artefacts over 50 years old.
  • Bones, feathers, or other parts of the moa or other extinct New Zealand species.
  • Goods over 50 years old which have national, scientific, or artistic importance such as:
    • books, letters and other documents
    • parts of ships and aircraft
    • photographs and films
    • stamps and coins
    • traction engines
    • veteran and vintage motor vehicles
    • works of art.

For further information see www.mch.govt.nz and the following Customs fact sheets:

Legislation:

Authority: Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Last updated: Monday, 15 February 2016

Purpose of prohibition:

​New Zealand is signatory to a number of international protocols and conventions aimed at protecting the environment. This includes controlling the export of radioactive materials from New Zealand.

Legislation:

​Approval is required from the National Radiation Laboratory – a Division of the Ministry of Health – under the Radiation Protection Act 1965 to export radioactive material.

Authority: National Radiation Laboratory

Last updated: Friday, 15 April 2011

Purpose of prohibition:

​For the purposes of conserving animal species there are controls on the export of toheroa from New Zealand.

Legislation:

​The export of toheroa is prohibited under the Customs Export Prohibition Order 2011, unless the exporter has a consent to export from the Minister for Primary Industries.

Authority: Ministry for Primary Industries

Last updated: Monday, 16 July 2012

Purpose of prohibition:

​The New Zealand Government has imposed export and/or import sanctions against a number of countries, under the United Nations Act 1946, in response to resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council.

The goods covered by the sanctions may not be exported from or imported into New Zealand, other than rough diamonds (see below), except with the consent of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Rough diamonds

United Nations sanctions also include controls on the import and export of rough diamonds. The United Nations Sanctions (Kimberley Process) Regulations 2004 prohibit the exportation of rough diamonds unless:

  • the shipment is from a country which is a participant in the Kimberley Process
  • the importer holds a Kimberley Process Certificate from the country of export
  • the original copy of the approval is produced to Customs
  • the rough diamonds are imported in a tamper resistant container.
  •  

Other United Nations export sanctions 

For detailed information on the specific sanctions and the goods concerned go to:

Fact Sheet 2 – United Nations export and import sanctions.

The New Zealand Government enforces sanctions against a number of countries in support of United Nations resolutions.

Legislation:United Nations Act 1946; United Nations Sanctions (Kimberley Process) Regulations 2004

Authority: New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Last updated: Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Purpose of prohibition:

​New Zealand participates in a number of non-proliferation arrangements and agreements, which seek to limit the spread of chemical and biological weapons, weapons of mass destruction and their missile delivery systems, and the transfer of conventional weapons and dual-use technologies.

Export controls

The export of the following types of goods is prohibited unless an exporter has approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

  • “Specially dangerous airguns” require an export permit issued by the Ministry of Foreign affairs and Trade (exportcontrols@mfat.govt.nz). The relevant section covering specially dangerous airguns is as follows:

    ML905. Specially dangerous Airguns: 

    a.  The airguns known as the Larc International Model 19A and the Larc International Model M19-AMP 
    b.  Pre-charged pneumatic air rifles. 

    Note: Airguns include any air pistol or air rifle; Pre-charged pneumatic air rifles means pre-charged pneumatic air rifles that are not for use in airsoft or paintball sports; ML905 does not include air gun accessories, air gun pellets or other air gun projectiles.
  • Military goods and technologies (includes these goods being exported by private persons).
  • Goods and technologies that can be used in the production, development or delivery of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.
  • Conventional weapons.
  • Dual-use goods that have or may have a military use, such as computers, navigation and marine equipment.
  • Aircraft and vessels that have or may have a military use.
  • Chemicals, biological agents, substances and plant pathogens that may be used to manufacture chemical, nuclear and biological weapons.
  • Anti-personnel mines.
  • Cluster munitions.
  • Chemical weapons and a range of chemicals that may be used in the manufacture of chemical weapons (see below for link to list of these chemicals).
  • Arms and related materials of all types (in support of UN sanctions) including weapons, ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment and parts for all of these goods for exportation to:
    • Al Qaida and Taliban 
    • Cote d’Ivoire
    • Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea) 
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Eritrea
    • Iraq
    • Iran
    • Lebanon
    • Liberia
    • Libya
    • Sierra Leone
    • Somalia
    • Sudan.
  • Goods to Iran that could contribute to her enrichment-related, or reprocessing, or heavy water related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapons delivery systems.
  • Controlled items listed on the New Zealand Strategic Goods List, on the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade website. 
 

End-use (catch-all) controls

The end-use controls (also known as catch-all controls) cover the export of goods, software and technologies which are not listed on the New Zealand Strategic Goods List, but which may be intended for use relating to:

  • The development, production or deployment of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or their means of delivery in any country.
  • A military end-use in a country subject to a United Nations Security Council arms embargo.
  • Use as parts or components of military items listed on the New Zealand Strategic Goods List (categories ML1- ML22) which have been unlawfully exported from New Zealand.

End-use controls focus on the intended end-use of the items rather than their technical characteristics. The new end-use provision is designed to prevent the export of non-listed items where intended for one of the above prohibited end-uses.

Controls on electronic transfers

The electronic export of software or technologies – either listed on the New Zealand Strategic Goods List or captured by the new end-use (catch-all) controls – is prohibited unless an export permit has been obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Legislation:

Customs Export Prohibition Order 2014; Anti-Personnel Mines Prohibition Act 1998; Arms Act 1983; Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1996; Cluster Munitions Prohibition Act 2009 

Authority: New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Last updated: Friday, 10 October 2014

Purpose of prohibition:

Primary products, especially those produced by the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries, constitute a statistically significant and financially critical sector of the New Zealand economy. Agricultural and horticultural products in particular need to maintain high levels of quality to continue to be successful and competitive in international markets. New Zealand Customs has an important role in ensuring that our primary products are exported according to regulations which are designed to ensure marketability and quality control.

Grape wine made from grapes grown in New Zealand and exported "for sale", requires an approval to export – for each shipment – from the Ministry for Primary Industries. For further information contact the Wine Institute of New Zealand on +64 9 3033 3527.

Exporters of fruit wine, vegetable wine, and grape wine made from grapes not grown in New Zealand, must be registered with the Ministry for Primary Industries. For further information see www.foodsafety.govt.nz

Fact Sheet 4
Fact Sheet 10

Legislation:Wine Act 2003

Authority: Ministry for Primary Industries

Last updated: Tuesday, 19 June 2012